Buying vs. Leasing a Forklift - What You Need To Know

Buying vs. Leasing A Forklift: What You Need To Know

If you need more forklifts for your business, your options can seem overwhelming. For long-term use, you need to choose between buying or leasing your units. It doesn’t have to be a tough decision, though. If you’re weighing your equipment options, here’s what you need to know:

Buying Forklifts

Owning forklifts can be a strong selection for the right business, but it does come with its own responsibilities - equipment maintenance and repairs can become a significant financial commitment. Purchasing your forklifts might make sense if your company has:

  • Predictable demand without seasonal fluctuations
  • A team of trained forklift technicians or a dedicated service partner 
  • A clean, well-maintained work environment 
  • Plans to use the forklift for at least three years before replacing it
  • 1 or 2 shifts at most daily to allow time for equipment maintenance 
  • A financial structure that benefits from owning assets that depreciate 
If this sounds like your company, buying your new forklifts may be the right choice.

Leasing Forklifts 

At the Lilly Company, we prefer to think of owning vs. using equipment rather than buying vs. leasing. Leasing your forklifts is one way to take advantage of the flexibility of modern lease constructions. Businesses that see benefits from leasing their equipment typically:

  • Deal with changes in demand and high seasonality 
  • Prefer not to deal with depreciating assets
  • Want to reduce their upfront cash outlay
  • May not have the cleanest facilities
  • Do not have a dedicated equipment maintenance staff 
  • Benefit from expensing equipment, rather than owning it outright
  • Run two or more shifts daily or run more than 40 forklift operating hours weekly 
  • Prefer to have newer equipment in their fleet for consistent performance and lower maintenance

Leasing forklifts is a more complex option due to the flexibility of leases that can be tailored to meet your unique needs and financial goals. Download our Ultimate Forklift Financing Guide for more information about common lease structures and what benefits you can expect from each.

If you’re looking for new forklifts, please get in touch with a forklift expert at The Lilly Company online or by phone 844-LILLYCO (1-844-545-5926) to discuss your equipment needs. We also invite you to say hello at one of our 13 locations across the Mid-South.

Arkansas - Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, and Memphis

Further Reading:

Get The Best Forklift for Your Needs and Budget - Free eBook Download

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